Just two years ago, Keziah Burt was working as a full-time art teacher at a school in Bristol. Now, she’s a full-time sculptor, having taken the leap to self-employment back in September 2022, and the demand for her work has exploded.

In just under two years, Keziah has sculpted the Queen for the National Army Museum, exhibited in several galleries all over the UK and unveiled her bust of Kings Charles, at this summer’s RHS Chelsea Flower Show.

Great British Life: Keziah's sculpture of King Charles III was unveiled at Chelsea this year (c) Mattea McKinnon Keziah's sculpture of King Charles III was unveiled at Chelsea this year (c) Mattea McKinnon

Recently, Keziah has moved to the Farnborough area, with her two children, Sullivan and Imogen and her husband, Will. After spending just a few moments with Keziah, her boundless energy and infectiously positive spirit shines through.

She explains: ‘We’ve just moved to Hampshire due to my husband’s work – he is serving in the Royal Engineers. We actually spent a lot of time in and around this area many years ago, so it’s great to be back. We’re now living very close to the church we got married in back in 2012 which is lovely.’

Being a military wife, Keziah and her family are no strangers to moves, having lived all over the UK and Germany over the last decade. Her ties to the military inspired a live sculpt of the Queen as a younger woman, which was unveiled by the Duke of York at the National Army Museum.

Great British Life: Keziah's sculpture of the late Queen is on display at the National Army Museum (c) Mattea McKinnonKeziah's sculpture of the late Queen is on display at the National Army Museum (c) Mattea McKinnon

Keziah was then granted permission by the Royal Family to sculpt King Charles, which she has just exhibited at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show within the Dave Green Garden. She says: ‘It was a joy and honour to work with Dave and have my sculpture featured – his garden is a beautiful homage to the relationship the Royals have to horticulture and the RHS.’

She’s also recently appeared on ITV sculpting Alan Titchmarsh who Keziah describes as ‘the most lovely man on telly!’

Born in Hertfordshire, Keziah’s talent for artistry was apparent from a very young age and she said she was ‘always sketching and drawing’.

In 2005 she graduated from Loughborough University with a master’s degree in fine art sculpture and then went on to the University of Brighton to train to become a teacher.

Great British Life: Keziah's latest collection is called Beneath the Waves (c) Mattea McKinnonKeziah's latest collection is called Beneath the Waves (c) Mattea McKinnon

Keziah still fuels her passion for teaching by running workshops and visiting schools. She explains: ‘I’d been teaching since 2007 – I did love it. I think part of me will always be a teacher, I always want to share what I know so I think that’s a natural progression. All the best people are teachers at some point in their lives, whether it’s in a classroom or in your studio – sharing knowledge is key to life really, it brings me such joy. I taught privately and in full classrooms, in Germany and the UK. I love watching people have those lightbulb moments, where maybe I’ve said something in a way that helps them understand.’

She continues: ‘I think it’s an innate human trait to want to share knowledge, something I think I have become better at since becoming a mum. Balancing the responsibilities of being a military wife, mum and, teacher and trying to find time for my own practice and art just became too much. So, I prioritised my family and creativity and it’s working out! It’s been a long process to get here, a lot of hard work and every day is a learning day, but I am so grateful to be in this position.'

She has also been a dedicated swimmer all of her life and whenever the opportunity presents itself, will submerge herself in water.

Great British Life: Her latest collection explores her connection to the sea (c) Mattea McKinnonHer latest collection explores her connection to the sea (c) Mattea McKinnon

‘It doesn’t matter if it’s the sea, a lake or a river I’m in! I have a connective tissue disorder called Hyper Mobile Ehlers Danlos syndrome that effects my joints, and I find the cold water really helps.’

Her affinity with the sea has evolved into her latest collection of sculptures called Beneath the Wave. She shares: ‘It’s about exploring the intangible qualities of the human experience, rendering the private intimacy and fragility in raw clay and bronze’ and ‘tender moments of interaction.’

Keziah has created six limited edition bronzes depicting figures wrapped in each other, or alone, seemingly floating on the tides. She says: ‘During lockdown I was landlocked in Yorkshire and had such a constant yearning to swim. I was so inspired by the underwater photography of the social media star @stivesmermaid, aka Laura Evans, who gave me permission to use her photos as reference to sculpt from. She and her friend did one pose that inspired me so much, they were holding onto one another in the water. Supported by the waves and yet tethered to each other. The intimacy of that friendship shone through for me, so I created the first of the series of underwater figures.

‘Portraiture for me is the practice of storytelling. Our facial expressions show the life experiences we carry. They are not about vanity; they are about legacy. They are a gift for the grandchildren so they might touch the face and know a story of those that go before.

It is always such a joy to sculpt from life and such a collaborative process of talking and laughter. It’s much more informal than people anticipate. I always feel so honoured to become a part of a family’s story, a moment in time for generations to come.’

Her motto? ‘Only work with lovely people. I just want to make beautiful things for lovely people!’ keziahburt.co.uk Instagram: @keziahburtartist